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Cultural Humility and Dewey’s Pattern of Inquiry: Developing Good Attitudes and Overcoming Bad Habits

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When we assume that we have cultural competence rather than thoroughly engaging in what Dewey calls the pattern of inquiry, we fail to achieve cultural humility. By analyzing how habits undermine inquiry and underlie failure in situations that call for cultural humility, we may be better equipped to address unintentional offenses. In this essay, I define cultural humility and contrast it with cultural competence, explaining why aiming for cultural competence alone is problematic. Next, I consider the attributes necessary for cultural humility and the attitudes that Dewey considers beneficial for inquiry. This is followed by an outline of Dewey’s pattern of inquiry and explanation of how unquestioned habits of thought short-circuit our ability to become culturally humble. I suggest that we forgo attempting to achieve cultural competence and instead use Dewey’s pattern of inquiry with the attitudes he recommends as tools to work toward cultural humility.

Affiliations: 1: Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Prairie View A&M University, Woolfolk 315, P.O. Box 519; MS 2203, Prairie View, TX 77446, Office: 936-261-3216 mdtschaepe@pvamu.edu

10.1163/18758185-01501007
/content/journals/10.1163/18758185-01501007
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1. Dewey John,. 1916. Democracy and Education, in The Middle Works of John Dewey , vol. Vol 9 (mw 9), ed. Jo Ann Boydston (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1985).
2. Dewey John,. 1921–1922. Essays on Philosophy, Education, and the Orient, in The Middle Works of John Dewey , vol. Vol 13 (mw 13), ed. Jo Ann Boydston (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1988).
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11. Paavola Sami,. 2015. “"Deweyan Approaches to Abduction?"” in Action, Belief and Inquiry: Pragmatist Perspectives on Science, Society and Religion , ed. Ulf Zackariasson (Helsinki: Nordic Pragmatism Network), pp. 230249.
12. Rosenblatt Paul C,. 2016. “"Cultural Competence and Humility."” in Handbook of Social Justice in Loss and Grief: Exploring Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion , eds. Darcy L. Harris, and Tashel C. Bordere (New York: Routledge), pp. 6774.
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/content/journals/10.1163/18758185-01501007
2018-02-22
2018-06-25

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